THE NATURE OF THE BIBLE


The Bible is an incredible book. It consists of 66 books, written by about 40 authors over a period of nearly 1500 years. Yet this book is a completely integrated, multichannel communication system. There are so many examples in the Bible where the message in one part is reflected in another section by historical examples and hidden information.

These are called "Types". The bible is full of types and parables. We should look carefully at them if we are to fully appreciate the Eternal Purpose of God.

What is in a Name ? 

We often overlook sections of the bible as we read them because they seem dry and uninteresting. Yet at times these sections can hold some precious gems. Consider the genealogy in Genesis Chapter 5. 

For example. 

Predicting the Flood

Methuselah comes from the Hebrew word "muth", which means "death" and from "shalach", which means "to bring, or to send forth". The name Methuselah means, "his death shall bring".

If you plot out a time line using the information in Genesis chapter 5 you will see that in the year that Methuselah died, the flood came.

The Other Names 

If there is such significance in Methuselah's name, let's examine the other names to see what may lie behind them. 

Chuck Missler has some very interesting insights into the names in Genesis chapter 5. Consider:

"When we look at the meaning of the names in this chapter, a whole new light is shed on the authenticity of the book of Genesis and our understanding of how God uses the bible to speak to us. The list of names and their meanings is:
 
Hebrew Name English Meaning
Adam Man
Seth Appointed
Enosh Mortal
Kenan Sorrow
Mahelalel The Blessed God
Jared Shall come down
Enoch Teaching
Methuselah His death shall bring
Lamech The despairing
Noah Comfort, Rest
Putting all the names in sequence we have:

Adam Seth Enosh Kenan Mahelalel Jared Enoch Methuselah Lamech Noah

In English it reads:

Man Appointed Mortal Sorrow. The Blessed God Shall come down Teaching His death shall bring The Despairing Comfort

Praise God that He has revealed His message even in the most unexpected places."

(Missler, 1996)

The Genealogy of Jesus

When considering the genealogy of Jesus as outlined in Matthew chapter 1 it is interesting to note that four women are specifically mentioned. They are:

  1. Tamar - a gentile woman who played the harlot (Genesis chapter 38).
  2. Rahab - a gentile harlot who received the two "witnesses" (spies) sent by Joshua (Joshua chapter 2).
  3. Ruth - a gentile woman who married Boas as part of the redemption package for Naomi (Ruth).
  4. Bethsheba - the wife of a gentile who becomes the wife of a great king. 
It is interesting to compare the nature of these women with the progress of the church toward God's Eternal Purpose

  1. We start out as "spiritual harlots". 
  2. Jesus sends his witnesses to us to verify his death and resurrection (Acts 1:8).
  3. Jesus calls us to become his "bride" (Ephesians 5:22 - 32).
  4. We shall reign with Jesus in his Millennial Kingdom (Revelation 20:6).

The Offering of Isaac

In Genesis 22 we read the story of God asking Abraham to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice. This entire episode is a type of the offering of Jesus as a sacrifice for sin. There are some very important points which need to be considered:

  1. God said, " Take your son, your only son Isaac whom you love..." (Genesis 22:2). It is interesting to note that Abraham actually had another son Ishmael, yet in this case God did not include Ishmael in the equation.
  2. "... go to the land of Moriah, and offer him him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you" (Genesis 22:2). The mountain of Moriah upon which this took place was just outside Jerusalem. There is every indication that this is the place where Jesus died on the cross.
  3. Abraham "figuratively" received Isaac from the dead at the end of this event. Of course Jesus did die and did rise again from the dead.
  4. Abraham called the place Jehovah Jireh (The Lord will Provide) saying "In the Mount of the Lord it shall be provided". This is a prophetic utterance concerning the future death and resurrection of Jesus.
  5. Note: Isaac is not mentioned again in the Scripture by name until his marriage two chapters later. Jesus has been taken up into Heaven until the time of His "marriage".
These are but two of the hidden "types" in the Bible. Some of the others which could be considered are:

  1. Jacob's Dream (Genesis 28:10-22) - the ladder leading from earth to heaven is Jesus who bridges the gap between God and Man. (John 1:51)
  2. Joseph (Genesis 37 - 50) who first suffered for no fault of his own, but was promoted to second in the kingdom of Egypt by virtue of his wisdom - depicts the suffering Christ who is exhalted to the right hand of God . (Acts 7:56) 
  3. The Pass Over Lamb (Exodus 12:1-36) whose blood was a sign to God to pass over the houses of Israel and not destroy them - depicts the blood of Jesus which was shed for our protection when God comes to destroy this world
  4. The feasts of Israel which pointed to various aspects of Jesus life and ministry. 
  5. The daily sacrifices instituted under the law - depicting the death of Jesus for sin. (Hebrews 10:8-12)
  6. Joshua and the conquest of Canaan - who depicts the return of Jesus in triumph at the end of this age. Note: The books of Joshua and Revelation should be considered in conjunction. There are many parallels.
  7. The Judges who delivered Israel from their troubles - who depict the deliverance provided by Jesus.
  8. Boas, the redeemer kinsman - is a type of the relationship we have with Jesus who has redeemed us from death and sin.
  9. David and the other "good" kings of Israel and Judah - who depict the glory of Jesus as King of all the world.
  10. Esther, the intercessor - who is a type of Jesus who intercedes for us before His Father in Heaven. (Hebrews 7:25) and also a type of the Church and its relationship between the world and Jesus as we act as God's "Royal Priesthood" (1 Peter 2:9) interceding for Adam's fallen race. 
  11. Elijah - who is a type of the ascended Christ.
These are but a few examples of the hidden types in the Bible. Time does not permit us to explore them all, nor to consider the types which point to others apart from Jesus.


Created: 23 - Jan - 1997.
Last modified: 18 - Sept - 1998.
Copyright © 1998, Graham Brodie.

Maintainer: Graham Brodie, Email